Each of us has formed a “political” opinion about what is going on in the nation around us. However, in Doctrine and Covenants 29:34 it reads “Wherefore, verily I say unto you that all things unto me are spiritual, and not at any time have I given unto you a law which was temporal.” This scripture thus lays the foundation for us so that we should not be surprised when we receive the following guidance from the First Presidency.
In a letter read during sacrament meetings throughout the U.S. in January of 1998 the First Presidency encouraged the member of the Church to be “full participants in political, governmental and community affairs.”
“We wish to reiterate the divine counsel that members ‘should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness,’ while using gospel principles as a guide and while cooperating with other like-minded individuals. (D&C 58:27)
Through such wise participation as citizens, we are then in better compliance with this scripture:
‘Governments were instituted of God for the benefit of man; and that he holds men accountable for their acts in relation to them.’ (D&C 134:1)
Therefore, as in the past, we urge members of the Church to be full participants in political, governmental, and community affairs. Members of the Church are under special obligations to seek out and then uphold those leaders who are ‘wise,’ good,’ and ‘honest.’ (See D&C 98:10)
Thus we strongly urge men and women to be willing to serve on school boards, city and county councils and commissions, state legislatures, and other high offices of either election or appointment, including involvement in the political party of their choice.”
Given that the law of this land (a.k.a. the Constitution is held to be sacred by the Lord, and that those who lead us and our opinions are responsible for assisting us in upholding the freedoms and rights as noted in the Constitution, then is it not reasonable to believe that we must come to our political conclusions via a diligent study of the scriptures and the words of our modern-day prophets rather that forming such opinions solely on the words given to us by the media, misguided neighbors and friends? Are we even aware that the Lord has given us explicit and clear instructions in the scriptures relating to our government today in His Holy scriptures, specifically the Book of Mormon?
“…They have all gone astray save it be a few, who are the humble followers of Christ; nevertheless, they are led, that in many instances they do err because they are taught by the precepts of men.
Cursed is he that putteth his trust in man, or maketh flesh his arm, or shall hearken unto the precepts of men, save their precepts shall be given by the power of the Holy Ghost.” (2 Ne. 28:14)
The very essence of this land is formed strictly upon a belief in God. This land will tolerate no such beliefs if we do not uphold this “heavenly banner.” But how can we uphold this sacred Law which the Lord has seen fit to establish and protect over and over again that we might have the freedom to be joyful and to worship him appropriately, if we know not the Law is?
The Law, as in the law which ensures our freedom, rights, liberties, and abilities to posses property is addressed over and over again in the Book of Mormon. Is it any wonder then that the “whole church” is “under condemnation” which “condemnation resteth upon the children of Zion, even all. And they shall remain under this condemnation until they repent and remember the new covenant, even the Book of Mormon and the former commandments which I have given them not only to say but to do according to that which I have written.” (D&C 84: 55-57)
As I have read this passage of scripture over the years of seminary, church, a mission, being a teacher at the MTC, and church classroom teaching I have often wanted to know more of what is was that “the church as a whole” was doing so that the condemnation could be lifted. I was anxious to find out more of what I could do so that my hands were at least clean in this regard. I used to think that it was simply that we were not appreciating the Book of Mormon sufficiently in our lives and so I pressed on to read it more often. But I was missing the boat…big time. Now that I’ve come to actually read AND ponder AND study the Book of Mormon and allow myself to be taught by it and the Spirit, specifically about the state of the government and our dealings with such in order to ensure our freedoms, I have come to understand that the condemnation comes not simply from setting the Book of Mormon at naught, or a position not fitting of it’s importance in our lives, but more importantly the contents therein. (I know. For those of you are more mature spiritually than myself, that may sound like a big fat DUH!) Everything we are struggling with today with our government, the constitution and what we should do about it is clearly covered in the Book of Mormon with miraculous specificity for our day. (Particularly 3 Nephi as a whole.)
If you read 3 Nephi and substitute the Gadiantons as “the government” which we have today, you will discover with surprisingly clarity just how much the Lord knew of our time, our ways, the corruption of men, the perilous state of freedoms in the land, and exactly what we are to do about all of this. I find the message and prophecies in 3 Nephi to be imploringly redundant in this matter, from a very loving Heavenly Father. “Prepare. Pray. Protect the Law.” This is especially clear in the dealings of the people of Lachoneus against the Gadiantons and their leaders, Giddianhi. (3 Nephi chapters 2 thru 7)
Referencing D&C 84: 57 again, I make a special note of the instructions that we “not only to say but to do…” I hear many say “we must take our country back,” “we cant’ let them get away with this,” “I pray that He will save our country,” when all that really does is contribute to the “saying” and not the “go and do” contrary to the consistent example we have from Nephi the son of Lehi.
This country is a great gift to all of us. And it is indeed a massive ship to be built and cared for that we might all arrive to the Promise Land with as many of our brothers and sisters as is possible. However, many of us must indeed “go and do” and pray for direction as to “how to build the ship” and indeed “he (will) nourish (us) and strengthen (us) and provide the means whereby (we) can accomplish the thing which He has commanded (us). (1 Ne. 17 3)He will indeed be our light in these matters, however we must open the way for him to influence us even in matters which may appear to be political or temporal unto the rest of the world that we may form wise and true conclusions as to what is really going on around us and what we must truly do to overcome.
Yours in Freedom,
|Copyright 2009 Kellene Bishop. All rights reserved.|
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